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J&K: Delimitation Commission finalises draft proposal

J&K: Delimitation Commission finalises draft proposal

Jammu: The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir has made its proposals public and invited objections and suggestions till March 21 before visiting the Union Territory later this month for public sittings.

The Commission published its final proposal, maintaining the number of Lok Sabha constituencies at five but increasing the Assembly seats from present 83 to 90 (adding six in Jammu and one in Kashmir), in the gazettes of India and Jammu and Kashmir.

The detailed proposal, published in leading newspapers on Monday, also carried two dissenting notes signed by four of the five associate members - three National Conference Lok Sabha MPs (Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone) and BJP MP Jugal Kishore. Union minister Jitendra Singh is the fifth associate member of the Commission.

Set up on May 6, 2020 with a one-year term to redraw Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, the commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai has given two extensions of one year and two months, respectively, to complete its task.

However, its draft proposals had evoked a strong reaction, especially from the opposition parties including the National Conference whose dissent note pertained to different Assembly constituencies besides challenging the very constitution of the panel pending the Supreme Court verdict on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

While splitting Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories through the Reorganization Act in August 2019, the Union Home ministry had increased Assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir by seven taking total seats to 114, 24 of which are reserved for Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) while the election will be held for 90 seats.

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had 111 seats, including 24 reserved for PoJK while elections were held for 87 seats. With the creation of Ladakh as Union Territory, four seats of the region were reduced and the Assembly was left with 83 seats.

However, with an increase of seven seats, J&K UT will have an Assembly of 90 seats — Kashmir will have 47 seats and the Jammu region 43 seats.

Two women MLAs will be nominated to the House, which was the position earlier also. In the previous Assembly, Kashmir had 46 seats, Jammu 37 and Ladakh four.

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